A vest probabaly made out of leather to protect the clothes, commonly seen in Landsknecht woodcuts.

The pattern based on the two above woodcuts; Front and back (note that the back mid seam is against a folded edge), the measuments are calculated for an XL Male.



The Trossfrau Sock II

After I made my first pair of socks (read more here), a friend posted pictures of a a pair of short linen socks found at Regensburg Historisches Museum in Germany. The design on these is more simple then my first guess, with what seems to be just two sets of pieces and I’ve finally got the chance to try it out.

1) The pattern is made about the same way as I made the first one; I taped my foot and draw the lines where I wanted the seam. I then cut it out in fabric and pinned it to my foot and adjusted it until it looked right. EDIT: I belive I over worked the pattern; the incut around the ankle can just be cut straight, the shape will come naturally when you roll the hem. (I’ll upload a new pattern example when my sewing room is unpacked after the move)

2) start by stitch the heel seam, and then fell the seam

3) I finished the edges around the opening before attach the sole

4) attach the sole and fell the seam, it’s easier to get around the heel and toe with tiny stitches

A pair took around a day to make a pair, including patterning. The sources of when and by whom it was used is a bit hard to find;

– the original is dated to 15th c, but I don’t have any information about the size of the sock so I can’t say if it’s male/female/social class etc

– There is a couple of woodcuts which shows a low cut sock off both trossfraus and peasants women, I haven’t had the opportunity to research if it was used by men as well, but it seems plausible.

– The inventory of the Swedish court in the early 16th c, mentions socks with lesser amount fabric than ordinary socks. No reference to whom it was intended for.


Petronilla of London (photograper of the original located in Regensburg Historisches Museum)

Cecilia Aneer, Skrädderi för kungligt bruk Tillverkning av kläder vid det svenska hovet ca 1600-1635, 2009

Rogg, M, Landsknechte und Reisläufer: Bilder vom Soldaten; ein stand in der Kunst des 16. jahrhunderts, 2002

Fabric Covered Tellerbarret

An inventory in the Textiler Hausrat mention a fabric covered straw hat, and I decided to try the technique by doing a specific kind of Tellerbarret. First book of fashion also mention hats covered in fabric, but doesn’t give any clues of what the base might be made of. Probably not all hats of this type have a strawhat base, but since it’s cheap and availble I found it suitable for a campfollower.  

The hat is based on Erhard Schöns “Landsknecht and Wife”, 1525-1530.

How I made the hat;

1) Take a straw hat and mark and cut of the top. Don’t worry if the hole is too big, you’re going to add a layer of fabric, which will reduce the size some, and if you planning to wear it on top of some kind of head cloth, you kind of want it to be larger than your head.

  In this case I used an old straw which was a bit damaged anyway. 

2) measure the width of the brim and double the measurement and add seam allowance, this is the width. Measure the outer circumference of the straw hat, and this is the minimum length of the fabric. My straw hat was exactly the width of my fabric, which was nice.

Tip: wool rips really easy: just snip and rip in perfectly straight lines.

Mark the middle of the fabric and put in gatherings threads, mine is about 1/2 inch (2 cm) between. I choose to make two rows on each side of the middle, to ensure that the pleats would stay neat on both side of the brim. (Honestly, I remade my gathering threads six times before I settled for this kind. Do as you believe works best for you)

3) pull the gatherings thread carefully, you-do-not-want-them-to-brake! I used a thicker linen thread, it still broke, and I had to remake it. Fun times… Fold the fabric over the hat and place the gathered part along the inner hole. I then pulled and pinned the fabric evenly over the brim, making sure it was evenly stretched.

4) I made sure I’ve pinned all the way around on the brim and let go of the pins around the outer edge, so I could fold and whip stitched the two layers of fabric on the outer side, without loosing the even pleating. 

5) the inner hole with the two rows of gathering thread ended up even and nicely 

6) I wasn’t able to find any leeds on how the top of a fabric covered Tellerbarret would look like, so instead I study several different other models of a wide flat type of hat around the same period,  to get an idea what would be most plausible design. Here is three examples of the construction of the crown: 


A) most tops seems very flat, some looks like they are made out of a cut out round circle, some like they’ve been shaped (felt? leather?) or possibly sewn out of several pieces. The design I chose is based on the first woodcut which seems to have a curve. 

B) some hats seems to have some sort of butto- like decoration on the top.

C) I’ve noticed that a cord during this period, often seem to go through the brim and over the head.

7) a friends pattern of a hat crown seemed to be similar to the shape I was looking for; measure the base to be sure it will fill up the hole on your hat, don’t forget to take any seam allowance into the calculation. Cut out four, sew together. 

8) the crown is then sewn on to the brim; the edge is folded to keep it hidden. The edge is then whip stitched to the brim, which also helps keep the pleating even.


9) add cords; when you look at the woodcut, the cords seems like they goes through/attached to the brim rather then the seam between the crown and brim, so I punched a hole through all the layers and pulled my cord through it.


10) …and the hat is finished to be decorated with feathers; I am still working on how to get the same look as the woodcut, I have some ideas I’ll experiment with and publish when I’m satisfied with the result.

Amount of work hours around 8-10 hours.


Things to work on:

When studying and compare my finished hat with the woodcut, a few things might need a tweak.

– thinner cord

– smaller straw hat; the size between head and edge is smaller then mine.

– more fabric? The woodcut shows more pleats, which is also smaller. Since I made the hat out of Melton wool, I would probably need to experiment with either a thinner wool or another type of fabric.


Zander-Siedel, Textiler Husrat: Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nürnberg Von 1500-1600. (English translation by Katerine Barich), 1990

Graf, Breünner, Jacob, Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvölker Im Zeitalter der Landsknechte (edited by M. McNealy), 2013

The first book of fashion: the book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg (Edited by Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward), 2015

Tece de Kaxtone, Drachenwald, http://tecedekaxtone.livejournal.com

German or Swiss? Landsknecht or Reisläufer?

The quick and dirty introduction of who’s who;

Until 1490 the Swiss were the superior warriors of Europe, and Swiss instructors was imported to tech German soldiers how to fight, forming a new group of mercenaries in Europe, the Landsknechts. The Landsknechts also copy the Swiss outfit and even added more slashes and flamboyant look to it.

The Landsknecht copying the Swiss fighting style and fashion wasn’t that popular among the Reisläufers and the lesser employment opportunities with a growing group of Landsknechts, made the two groups bitter rivals and enemies, especially since the Landsknecht didn’t care for who they fought for …as long as they were payed.

The woodcut below shows a rare view of a Landsknecht and a Reisläufer in the same woodcut, a symbol of a truce between the two groups during this period of wars raging back and forth through Europe.


The slashing
The Landsknecht on the left has the distinct x slashing on his leg popularly interpret as the representing the cross of Saint Andrew and the Holy Roman Empire (Osprey). The Reisläufer’s chest and sleeve has a + slashing representing the Swiss Confederation.

The artist
Some artist painted several different kind of mercenaries, but most of them have their favorite kind of mercenary; Urs Graf (Swiss citizen and served as a mercenary during his lifetime) is more likely to paint Reisläufers rather then Landsknechts.

The weapons
The Katzbalger was seen as the symbol for a Landsknecht. Katzbalger is the short sword seen of the left mercenary above.

Landsknecht Cap …what should a man wear underneath his hat?

Maybe you don’t want to wear your wool hat directly on your head, it can be itchy but it also makes the hat dirty with all that human sweat penetrating the hat for day after day. As a women it’s usually pretty simple, you just wrap a head floaty, where a haube or something else similar, depending on what kind of German class you belong to.

Lately several people have asked me for what a man properly should wear underneath his hat and it makes me so happy because I’ve tried once to convince my husband into wearing the awesome period caps you sometimes see in paintings, underneath his hat. He wasn’t as amused as I was, and to his defense, he more often puts on his Landsknecht outfit more to please me and make me happy …he definitely prefers early period clothing. So I let him wear his hat as he please, with either a Schlappe or a coif underneath, it’s not the end of the world.

But for those who might be a bit curious about what a guy can wear underneath a hat, I present the cap, a neat little haube for men and i only have seen it being worn once so far and it made me excited to see that little cap on this guy (thank you Sir Måns!), because paying attention to details is such a satisfying feature and I applause all those who do it.

Here is a small sample of different caps worn by men in Germany during the 16th century, and maybe I make one and just hope I’ll someday may convince my husband to wear it.


Slashed sleeves for a Landsknecht

The picture above shows an intricate slashing of a wams, seen from behind, the sleeves has a very interesting shape with the same width from shoulder and down until it gathers around the wrist, creating an image of a pair of almost rectangular constructed sleeves.

The late 16th c pattern from Germany (also translated to English by C. Köhler in A History of Costumes), seems like a perfect shape to use to achieve the same look as the woodcut, including a very easy base to cut the long slashes. The even width of the slashes from shoulder to wrist is also a good inclination that the pattern is a good base to be used …and a picture of my re-calculation to fit my reproduction.

The adjustments from the original pattern transformed into a full sleeve pattern.

The fabric slashed in a similar pattern as the woodcut, including cutting it into three separate pieces. It’s hard to say exactly how many slashes the woodcut sleeve have, and I might have made a bit few, but I didn’t want to make the sleeve even larger until I get an idea how the pattern would work in real life; the sleeve still has to be both practical and elegant.

Each slash is then hemmed, which of course isn’t a must, but the wearer was very specific of having an extraordinary flamboyant outfit, so I hemmed all slashes to make it look as neat as possible. The hemming is done with simple running and wip stitches, and all pieces is then ironed flat.

Next step is to use the fabulous pinking tool and punch the crescent shaped slashes.

You can see on the woodcut that each sleeve piece has a slashed decor on the edge, which I simply make by ripping around 1″ wide fabric pieces, double fold them and then slash them an inch apart. The job of hemming this small slashes is way to time consuming, so I leave them as they are.

Tip; ripping wool is an easy way to get long and perfect straight pieces of fabric, just cut around half an inch and rip. The technique works perfectly fine with silk fabric as well.

Each piece is sewn together and the slashed decoration is attached to each side

Silk is a very nice fabric to work with, it’s light weight and more dirt resistant then linen, and only slightly more expensive. Silk also wrinkles less then linen, and the light weight of the fabric can be gather into incredible small areas, with out adding any particular bulkyness. It’s not unlikely to assume silk was used for garment used by Landsknechts, but it’s probably more likely used by officers, high payed soldiers or high class associates rather then the ordinary foot soldier. Linen fabric was probably much more common, or maybe it’s just your undershirt that is seen through the slashes since you can’t afford no other expenses.
When I calculate how much puffing I need I use at least length x 1,5 for silk, it gives the puffing a basic nice symmetrical look, this sleeves got a little extra length to give them even more flamboyant look. This sleeves is not to be lined, to keep them as cool as possible for the California summer by letting air in through the slashes, the silk is therefore sewed onto the sleeves close to the edge, the edges is then folded over and then just wipstitched, to preventing the silk fraying.


The pieces seems to be attached with cords, so each part is given four pair of holes on each side.

IMG_1334.JPG by making two holes next to each other, one cord is pulled through both holes on both pieces and can be easily tied on the same side of the fabric.

Each sleeve is hold together by 12 cords with aiglets
IMG_1395.JPG in a woodcut the cords is almost always seen tied with a single loop, and
On this specific woodcut, you can almost make out the loops holding the sleeve-pieces together.

IMG_1440.JPG Even though Urs Graf mostly painted Swiss soldiers, the garment is similar enough to be used for construction studies and Graf’s level of details and everyday poses provides us with valuable as well as the simple fact that the German Landsknechts also was inspired by the Swiss Reisläufers. The single loop cord is of course also seen in other German garment as in Albrecht Von Brandeburgens’s elaborated garment.

Each sleeves three pieces is attached to each other with the points


And the full sleeve;



The full outfit can be seen here

Landsknechts outfits ready to be worn!

It’s been a crazy autumn with a ton of commissions to finish, here is at least pictures of the two first complete outfits. (I will try to get better pictures and more close ups at the next event)

Nicks outfit is completely handsewn and the Wams is my first try of making the ‘vest’ design with an attachable front piece. The puffs is white and black silk, and the wams it’s only lined on the torso to make it slightly cooler to wear in California.

IMG_1174-0.JPG you can see a little gap in the corner, an extra lacing hole will be added, along all around the edges between the hosen and wams, to prevent it from slipping from the weight of his weapon on his hips. Read more about his Wams here and his hosen here.

Dante wanted a very ‘clean’ designed Waffenrock , with just some slashes for decor. This kind of slashes is made by just cutting a diagonal slash and when attaching them I simply stretch the fabric slightly to open them up (read more about how to slash here).
The front is side closed with hooks and eyes, just along the inside of the slashed band. The placement of the hooks and eyes was placed there because I wanted the front decoration to be still visible even if he choose to unhook the top hooks due to the heat of California.


The slashes before and after I attach them to the blue fabricIMG_1175.JPG

Markings for the vertical slashesIMG_0893.JPG

How the front opensIMG_1028.JPG

The hooks and eyes are all handmade, based on a 16th c Spanish finding


The main design of the Waffenrock is inspired by the left picture, but instead of velvet and brocade I use wool fabric that Dante provided. The slashed decoration and the shorter sleeves is inspired from the two smaller woodcuts.


Landsknecht Wams (German 16th c)

One of the next project is to make a wams to fit with the black and white hosen I made a while back. The wams is based on Peter Flötners woodcut from 1535;


The wams is made out of a vest with an attachable front, and is exciting to make since I’ve only seen it being reproduce by two people before, one of them is Master Roland from Atenveldt (Arizona), who also shared interesting information about the construction of the wams, one was the tip of looking at the self portrait of Albrecht Dürer, 1498 which shows a similar construction:


A repduction of the wams without the front piece (photographed at Medieval Week, 2013

The first step is to make a pattern:

My friend had already a basic pattern to work with, so I just adjusted the front into the u-shaped opening.

The wams is going to fit with a pair of checkered black and white hosen, and I therefore draw a suggestion of the color scheme on a copy of the painting, and calculated a fabric amount to be used

The sketch main purpose is to make sure I put the right color on the right side, since it’s important to match the wams with the hosen, you can see the changes that is made; one sleeve is going to be checkered to match the pants.

The basic part of the wams is cut out;


The back design is inspired from another woodcut and slightly changed to fit the rest of the outfit.


The slashed pieces stitched together before the next step; adding the silk puffing


The next step is to add the black and white silk on the inside, which I gather into small pleats for fluffiness which will peak out through the slashes in the front.

All silk has been attached expect the large area with the hearts and spades.

The finished (besides some lacing holes still missing) outfit!


Checkered Landsknecht Hosen

Update: a common problem after one have finish those hosen, is that the waistline increases due to wear and tear unless you add a piece of extra straight cut strip of linen between the layers around the waistline, which will keep the shape and size of your pants when you wear them. The strip of linen doesn´t have to be more complicated than you cut on the grain a 5 cm/2 inch wide piece and add it. Or, if you prefer the easier way, to just get pre cut stuff direct from Amazon <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IAXVZVM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IAXVZVM&linkCode=as2&tag=whiiljascorne-20&linkId=23b0daa5e4a84d5a59959d3167cad4fe”>Linen Fabric Ribbon with Fringe Edge 2″ Wide x 5 yds.</a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=whiiljascorne-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00IAXVZVM” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

The finished outfit:


The hosen is based of Ulrich Tengler’s ‘Laienspiegel’, Mainz, 1518, and the amazing outfit a friend made a few years ago;

Cut out 2 pieces of the leg in the colours of your choice and draw opposite lines on each leg in an angle.


Note that the lines doesn’t goes all the way to the crotch; it will be more comfortable with less fabric between the legs and it will be easier to do the lacing holes for the codpiece if it isn’t to thick layers of wool to sew through. As you can see, the back mid piece doesn’t have any lines, that part is going to stay single colour.

Braid the legs to each other



Pin the pieces and use basting stitches along the sides to keep them from not moving while sewing.

And cut off the extra fabric, giving you just a single layer all around the outer seams.

When cutting the pattern, be sure think over the cutting pattern twice… And don’t cut to much, or you need to start over …or repair it;

20131208-145704.jpg luckily this part is in the crotch and is going to be hidden by the cod piece (never waste fabric!)

Front and back;



Te other leg is based on another woodcut (Peter Flötner, the Landsknecht) and is long (to the knee);


The “figuring out the pattern”-part is sometimes a bit tricky;

20131208-151703.jpg …and I’m not sure if the cutting will actually make it “fall” as the woodcut shows, or if I have to cut it differently. So I decided to keep it like this and cut it out as a tryout. You can also see that I have simplified the pattern at the upper part of the leg, since I don’t want to ruin the fabric by guessing it wrong (It seems like the leg has a striped hosen underneath, but I’m going to keep that part single coloured this time).

Different kind of solution for the pattern;


The leg has been slashed and I’m now working on finishing the edges by hand.


Most of the slashes is now finished and you can see the complete pattern;


The leg still need to be pressed by iron an there is still some areas that need more slashing. Here I’m adding additional flowers;


The slashed leg gets a white wool lining, same basic hosen.

As you notice I finish the seam from the rigth side, the purpose of finishing is mainly to keep the seam flat since this kind of wool rarely fray and the hosen is going to have a linen lining anyway so the seam will be well protected from any stress.

Due to circumstances (I managed to make two left legs, okey?) I decided to make a pair of hot pants and another pair of longer ones. So the checkered leg is going to be paired with
a slashed short leg based on the left woodcut, with decoration inspired from the right woodcut;


I cut out a short leg (around 10 cm below the but) and slashed it vertical (as the woodcut shows) and stitched the slashes on the backside to give the edges a smooth and proper look. I haven’t cut out the little flaps on the bottom yet, since I want to wait until I can try them on the person one more time, and make sure that the pants is the proper size.20140109-135611.jpg You can see different kind of pattern I’ve sketched on the backside, trying to decide which to use for the leg. It was my husbands idea to actually use hearts, and since it is hot pants, with one checkered leg, why not go with the gambling theme and make hearts and spades, divided by diamonds? The shapes can be found on the woodcut above, a piece of fantastic garb that I would love to make in a future, until then, I will be inspired by the design and idea to use on my friends hot pants.

I usually use a template to be sure that the pattern is even, then just draw, cut and repeat.


The spades are upside-down hearts where I cut a small triangle in the angle and the cut of some of the little “arms”.


The right leg with hearts, spades and diamonds.

Adding the white wool lining, note that I try to keep the thickness down a bit by simply stick it underneath the folded seam.



The I attach the two legs to each other (yay they fit!), and cut out the natural linen lining on the bias (for stretch); they didn’t dye linen and a white linen would become dirtier faster then a natural. A natural linen would also be cheaper, and is therefore a perfectly period choice for a pair of Landsknechts hosen.

20140111-164545.jpg to be sure I would end up with one left and one right leg, I carefully marked each leg with a big x, before I moved the fabric and started sewing.

20140111-164902.jpg the seams are regular running stitch (with occasional back stitch), note on the left pic that the seam isn’t as narrow as a machine stitch; handsewing a garment actually give the seams a bit more movement and the seams can take a bit more stress before they brake. When finishing (right pic) I choose to just fold it (as I do with wool) and stitch it down. The linen is protected from fraying by the wool lining and just folding it once reduce bulgy seams on the back.

The excellent linen thread for handsewing is Bockens Knyppelgarn, and even though it is available in several different colours, I rarely use anything else besides black, white and natural linen thread size 35/2 or 60/3 (it’s kind of same thickness).

Then attach the linen lining to the wool pants, start mid back and pin (since bias cut has a tendency to stretch) and sew, repeat on the other side.

I need to do one last fitting, to see where to start the codpiece, and to make sure that the hosen are fitted nicely around the waistline, so I only attach the linen and wool around the waistline and down mid front straight section.

Update; the first part of the hosen are finished, here is a picture of him wearing them at the local Renaissance fair


Update; the pants is fitted with the extra piece of leg and the socks